Aquinnah: Local holiday gifts

— Kyra Steck

It seems like most people had a quiet holiday last week in town, keeping guests to immediate family from what I heard. In walking around over the weekend, there were lots of people at the Cliffs and on the beaches taking advantage of the nice weather. This weekend was the last of the season for the shops at the Cliffs, they will be closed until next year. While this winter promises to be extra quiet with no public gatherings, I do enjoy walking around town this time of year. With all the leaves off the trees, you can see landscapes that you don’t get to see in the summer. There was a “beaver moon” over the weekend that was quite glorious as well. Aquinnah is not a bad place to pass the pandemic, in terms of local beauty, you can’t beat it.

As a result of a spike in COVID-19 cases Island-wide, Aquinnah town offices will be open by appointment only until further notice. Appointments with Town Officials may be made by calling offices at the following numbers during hours shown: Town Administrator: Monday through Friday, from 7:30 am to 2 pm, 508-955-9181; Accountant: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, 508-645-2305; Board of Health: Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm, 508-645-2309; Building Inspector, by appointment, 508-662-7337; Town Clerk: Monday and Tuesday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm, 508-645-2304; DPW: Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm, 508-645-9006; Planning Board: Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm, 508-645-2300; Tax Collector: Monday and Wednesday from 11 am to 3 pm, 508-645-2303; Treasurer: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm, 508-645-2301; Shellfish Constable/Harbormaster: by appointment, 508-280-1177. For more information, please visit

If you are looking for local holiday gifts, there are many wonderful options in Aquinnah. The Northeast Indigenous Artists Holiday Market is up and running on Facebook, and they have some amazing work from Donald Widdis, Berta Welch, Janette Vanderhoop, and Jamie Vanderhoop. The market runs until Dec. 11 and you can find it on Facebook. Joan LeLacheur’s studio is open for visits by appointment (they can be held outside). Joanie makes beautiful shell jewelry and mosaic tiles. Call her to schedule an appointment at 508-645-9954 or 508-939-1691. Visit her website at, her studio is located at 42 Old South Rd. in Aquinnah. Lisa Vanderhoop’s Vineyard Seadogs calendar is available at stores around the Island. The Orange Peel Bakery has honey (makes a great stocking stuffer) and is taking orders for holiday pies and Christmas cookies, call 508-645-2025.

ACE-MV is offering a virtual information session on how to become an offshore wind technician this Thursday, Dec. 3, 6 to 8 pm. Classes will begin at the end of January. To sign up, go to

Pathways will not be presenting live events in Chilmark, but they are inviting all types of artists to use their space for rehearsals and taped performances (using mandated safe practices). If you would like to reserve the space or present something on their website pages and Facebook, email them at, or call them at 508-645-9098. Upcoming Pathways programming includes: “Writers Reading Others Work,” a chance to hear an author’s work in another voice. If you are an author and would like to hear your work read by someone else, please contact Pathways as soon as possible so readers can prepare.

Please keep an eye out for the Smiths’ Maine coon cat, Mickey. He’s 7 years old with big paws with white socks. They are quite heartbroken about it. If you find him, call Noni at 508-939-9272. There’s a lot of birthdays this week. Happy Birthday to Missy Smalley, who celebrates on Thursday, Jacob Vanderhoop, Friday, and Margie Spitz, who celebrates on Monday.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,